'International Earthquake'

- Czech import CD review -


International Earthquake

Released in 2002 by Czech Memory Records.

Recorded at Elvis' second engagement at 'The International Hotel' this is an audience recording of the Feb 5th 1970 Dinner Show. This was the season that Elvis started wearing his jumpsuits as well as introducing new songs such as 'The Wonder of You', 'Don't Cry Daddy' & 'Polk Salad Annie'. Previously released as 'Sheik of the Desert', here Czech records have used the original master tape and done a great job improving the sound, making it a very listenable audience recording.

In the past audience tapes were the only available way of getting to hear Elvis truly live but in these days of FTD (Ernst says "Wait & all our dreams will come true"!) maybe there is no market for them anymore as we get spoilt with the multitude of new soundboard recordings. (Of course we are all hanging out for a few like 'Auld Lang Syne 76' & 'Adios' but we might be waiting a while for those, which means that the audience recordings will have to do in the meantime).

During this season RCA recorded a bunch of concerts which they used to compile the 'On Stage' album but as Rick Rennie explains (on the final track of the CD, a weird experience in itself) it is a bonus to have a record of a complete concert from the period.

Despite Elvis having 'flu at the time the CD kicks off with a fine 'All Shook Up' ("I got a little bit o' cold but I feel fine" he sings!). 'I Got a Woman' which follows is sadly ruined by a noisy waitress but things improve from there on.

Highlights are his new single 'Don't Cry Daddy', ‘C.C. Rider’ (used mid-set in those days) and a lovely 'Let It Be Me' (Elvis really gets into it, singing "Yeah I mean it"). Despite having flu Elvis is in good humour saying as he kisses the crowd "I'll just go into the kitchen and kiss the cook while I'm at it"!. Elvis does a seriously funky 'Love Me' (listen to the chunky rhythm guitar) which isn't spoiled by his kissing routine. 'In The Ghetto' is as good as ever and Elvis certainly didn't let his flu dampen his spirits or his involvement in the songs. Interestingly it does not feature 'Walk A Mile In My Shoes' as a medley which Elvis was doing during this season.

Rick Rennie has provided us with some of the best quality showroom recordings and although this one isn’t up to his best it still has a lovely rich sound for an audience recording. This of course cannot compare to the magnificent power of RCA’s ‘On Stage’ compilation however if you don't own the previous 2001 'Sheik Of The Desert' then this is worth a listen and the audio quality has been improved. The CD cover has a nice design as well (see above) and it runs 56 minutes.

In someway you can learn something new from every Elvis concert and this second season in Vegas was crucial as he headed towards the August TTWII season. It is fascinating to hear ‘C.C Rider’ mid-concert instead of the intro and to note that Elvis doesn't do the requested 'Heartbreak Hotel' and it also defies belief that someone in the audience shouts out several times for 'Double Trouble' as a request - Just amazing!

The most fascinating recordings of this season would be the opening & closing shows where Elvis performed some rarer songs, accompanied himself on piano and the Closing Show captures the fabulous moment of Priscilla running on stage & giving Elvis a kiss - definitely one for FTD to consider as a future release.

Verdict: An upgrade on the previous release and enjoyable for being another look at Elvis’ second Vegas engagement. Hopefully FTD will release a complete February 1970 soundboard soon but in the meantime this is a worthy audience release. Make sure you own the RCA ‘On Stage’ first. These Feb 1970 Elvis concerts really rock, fans of "audience recordings" will love this.

- Piers EIN 2002

International Earthquake
February 5th, 1970 Dinner Show
1. Opening Vamp
2. All Shook Up
3. I Got A Woman
3. Proud Mary
5. Don't Cry Daddy
6. Monologue
7. Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
8. Love Me
9. C.C Rider
10. Let It Be Me
11. I Can't Stop Loving You
12. Love Me Tender
13. Dialogue
14. In The Ghetto
15. Sweet Caroline
16. Polk Salad Annie
17. Introductions
18. Suspicious Minds
19. Can't Help Falling In Love

20. Rick Rennie comments

Review by Piers Beagley
-Copyright EIN, October 2002

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